Petraeus Primer Day 7: The spin cycle

A backless dress, a shirtless FBI and all the latest on the scandal

The Benghazi hearing began, and a day before David Petraeus is set to testify he started to get his side of the story out through sympathetic media channels. It offered a telling glimpse of  the former top four-star general’s talent annexing the press corps.

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First, National Journal reported Petraeus told his former spokesman, retired Army Col. Steven Boylan, that Broadwell is the only mistress he ever had and that began in November 2011 — two months after he became CIA  chief.

Then came CNN Headline News Kyra Phillips’ gushy report of her exclusive interview with Petraeus, a long-time source.

Phillips repeatedly said how “shocked” she was by Petraeus’s behaviour. He had never been a flirt! How could he have an affair! She employed Biblical superlatives:  “This guy walked on water,” she said.  “I have never known him to tell me something that is not true.”  He told her his resignation from the CIA has nothing to do with Benghazi or breeches to national security and that he didn’t pass any classified information to Broadwell, she said.  The affair was “emotional” and didn’t begin until he was outside of the military” and ended “four and a half months ago.” Phillips reported that Petraeus told her Broadwell was threatened by  his “friendship” with Jill Kelley which was entirely innocent. He wants to repair his 38-year marriage and hasn’t spoken to Broadwell since the scandal broke. And if it wasn’t yet crystal clear whose side she was on, Phillips additionally quoted people in Petraeus’s “circle” who described Broadwell as “aggressive” and someone who “works her magic.”

Meanwhile, a photo surfaced of Broadwell doing just that at a fancy military function in a backless dress. In it, she’s allegedly chatting with Petraeus weeks after the FBI investigation of their affair had begun. If true, it’s a decidedly brazen move. Or maybe she just assumed David “walk-on-water” Petraeus was untouchable, figuratively speaking.

And finally we have the crazy photo of the former Shirtless FBI Agent that stirred up so much fuss. Slate.com explains the “Who’s the dummy?”  joke, if you care.


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